(Greece) – Jacob Lew, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, visited Greece this past Thursday while speaking with Greece’s Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos. The purpose of his visit in Greece was to not only discuss Greece’s program of economic reforms, but to also talk about other current topics, such as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the coup attempt that took place in Turkey over the past weekend.
During his visit, he talked about Greece’s debt program and the importance of making sure that it is something that the country can sustain. He did say that Greece has made a lot of progress with its current program of economic reforms that have been a part of its bailouts. He also told the country that they need to stay on their current path in order to make sustainable, long term progress. He also said that more progress needs to be made before the International Monetary Fund would be ready to discuss whether or not they will be involved with this current bailout program.
Lew said that, “Putting Greece’s debt on a sustainable path is critical to Greece’s long-term economic health and I encourage all parties to be flexible to successfully conclude this fall’s negotiations.The sooner these issues (with Greek debt) are resolved the better … My view of the geopolitical significance of Greece is not new.Our position has been clear for quite some time that it’s important for debt restructuring to be part of an overall plan for Greece.”
Greece recently received the first of its payments for the third bailout. The country needs this money to pay loan balances that have come due to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. However, the IMF has yet to become part of this third bailout, saying that they don’t think that the current program is sustainable over the long term.